Somerfield's shareholders may be forced to accept a break-up bid for the group. Barclays Capital, Apax Partners and property tycoon Robert Tchenguiz had hoped to secure an offer for the business, but a break-up was more likely, the paper reported. Asda has made an indicative offer and the Co-operative Group has appointed Credit Suisse to assess its options.

Sales of free-range chickens have risen following TV campaigns by celebrity chefs Jamie Oliver and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, said the Daily Express. A poll by the RSPCA indicated 73% of shoppers now bought high-welfare chicken. Sainsbury's said sales of free-range, organic and chicken produced to the RSPCA's Freedom Food standards soared 50% following the television programmes.

Ministers are preparing to approve plans that would allow supermarkets to collude in alcohol price rises to stem Britain's binge-drinking epidemic. The arrangement would enable retailers to get around existing competition rules that impose hefty penalties for price collusion, said the Guardian.

The first cattle born to a cloned cow in Britain will be sold at public auction this week, signalling a new chapter in food technology, according to scientists. The move has been hailed by many breeders who say cloned cattle is the only effective way to provide top-quality meat in times of shortages of key foodstuffs.

Tesco scored a packaging own goal when it sent a single Brussel sprout wrapped in a plastic bag to a customer who had mistyped his online order. The Mail reported how Howard Cooper had meant to ask for 100g of sprouts, but accidentally keyed in 0.01kg instead and received a package containing one sprout with his other groceries. "Perhaps we should have called Mr Cooper to check," said a Tesco spokesman.